Usher and an Error in Subject/Verb Agreement

June 15, 2006

Usher, together with dozens of volunteers, have joined an effort to clean up the grounds of a school in New Orleans that suffered grave damage from Hurricane Katrina.

This sentence contains an error in subject/verb agreement. The subject, "Usher," is singular, and the verb, "have joined," is plural.

The phrase set off by commas, "together with dozens of volunteers," is not part of the subject. When determining agreement between a subject and a verb, ignore words that come between them. Consider crossing off these words to isolate the subject and the verb.

This is the corrected sentence with this trick employed:

Usher, together with dozens of volunteers, has joined an effort to clean up the grounds of a school in New Orleans that suffered grave damage from Hurricane Katrina.

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